- Alleges Torture, Arrest And Murder Of Civilian Population In South East
- As DHQ Brands IPOB Terrorist Organization
By ‘Dotun Akintomide
The leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu has petitioned the European Union to prevail on the ongoing military operation in south east citing military brutality on people of the region.
In the petition dated September 14, the IPOB leader accused the Nigerian military of intimidation, torture, arrest, abduction and killing of civilian populace in the southeast.
The letter written by the counsel to the IPOB leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, was addressed to the secretary general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, the European Union High Commission, the presidents of United States of America, Russia and Israel.
Others include the United Kingdom and France.
He urged the comity of nations to prevail on the Nigerian government to suspend further military action in the south eastern states of the country and withdraw ‘the rampaging troops’ from the region.
The letter reads: “Unarmed civilians largely made up members of the Indigenous People of Biafra are now being tortured and murdered in cold blood on a daily basis.”
He said: “We have no doubt that the undisclosed reason for deploying troops to south eastern states by the President Buhari-led administration is to attack unarmed and defencesless members of the Indigenous People of Biafra who are merely exercising their constitutional guaranteed rights to self-determination.”
Kanu added that while innocent blood are being wasted in the region, the 1999 Constitution as amended did not allow the deployment of soldiers in the region in a manner presently done by the federal government.
“The situation in the south east of Nigeria is serious and demand your urgent action Sir.
“The modus operandi of the Operation Python Dance II presently adopted by the military deployed in the south east offends all known rules of professional engagement even in a war zone,” Kanu said.
Recall, yesterday The New Diplomat reported that the Nigerian Army through its spokesperson, Dani Usman has insisted that it will go ahead with its Operation Python Dance II.
The army blamed the public outcry against the deployment of troops on politicians trying to incite the people against the Nigerian military, averring that it would not back down on the exercise.
In related development, the Defence Headquarters has branded the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a “militant terrorist organisation’’ and urged parents to dissuade their wards from joining the group.
In a statement in Abuja on Friday, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, the Director, Defence Information (DDI), therefore, restated the commitment of the Armed Forces to confront “all security challenges facing the country.’’
“After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient to notify the general public that the claim by IPOB actors that the organisation is non-violent is not true.
“Hence, the need to bring to public awareness the true and current state of IPOB.
“In this regard, some of their actions, clandestinely and actively, that have been terrorising the general public include:
“The formation of a Biafra Secret Service, claimed formation of Biafra National Guard, unauthorised blocking of public access roads and extortion of money from innocent civilians at illegal road blocks.
“Militant possession and use of weapons (stones, molotov cocktails, machetes and broken bottles, among others) on a military patrol on Sept. 10, 2017.
“Physical confrontation of troops by Nnamdi Kanu and other actors at a check point on Sept. 11, 2017 and also attempt to snatch their rifles.
“Attack by IPOB members on a military check point on Sept. 12, 2017, at Isialangwa, where one IPOB actor attempted to snatch a female soldier’s rifle.’’
“From the foregoing, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wish to confirm to the general public that IPOB from all intent, plan and purpose as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation,’’ the DDI said.